Why do they just repeat PPTA/NZEI nonsense without questioning anything?

Why do Herald reports like Kate Shuttleworth just repeat PPTA/NZEI nonsense without questioning anything?

First she quotes at length a Nelson teacher who claims to have managed Charter Schools in many places around the world like Jordan, UAE and Pakistan and spent 10 years “repairing the damage”.

Right – sure he did. And how relevant are those countries and how important are anecdotes like that to a country like New Zealand trying to improve the lot of those kids the NZEI/PPTA system is failing?

Then clearly without having read the latest Credo report or the Swedish data released at the end of 2012 Shuttleworth does no background research into the New Orleans Charters School situation but quotes at length a mother from New Orleans who appears to have taken personal offence.

Maybe Kate could have found a few articles on google from credible journalists that say things like:

“The reforms had begun before Katrina, but the pace was accelerated after the disaster. It is now the only US city where a majority of public school pupils – around eight in ten – attend charter schools, which are non-unionised and enjoy a rare degree of operational independence from government. (no wonder the unions here are worried) 

By 2004 one in three New Orleans students was at a private or religious school, compared with a national average of 11%. In high school exit exams that year, 96% of the city’s public school students were below basic proficiency in English.

In the years since Katrina, student performance in tests has improved, and fewer students now go to failing schools. Students have achieved a higher average score in the ACT test, which measures readiness for college.

Lee said: “Schools receive a report card now, parents are savvy – they research online and see how a school is performing. It’s no longer the neighbourhood school; it’s really parent choice.”

Or this one;

“Before Katrina, the graduation rate was less than 50 percent. Now it’s more than 75 percent. Test scores are up 33 percent.”

Or this one;

“Over the past few years, there is a story that has been unfolding down on the Gulf Coast that all Americans need to hear or read about. It is the story of the turnaround of the New Orleans Schools. This major city school system has gone from being one of the worst in the nation to one of the best. It is important to understand that we are talking major city schools here, not all schools, and there is a huge difference.

There has been renewed national focus on New Orleans schools and its students’ progress. The school system has slowly ramped up the number of students served. In 2005, just before Katrina, it had 65,000 students; the next year it was down to 25,600. Enrollment has now climbed to 38,000. The demographics are still daunting: 95 percent of students are minorities and 83 percent are eligible for free or reduced lunches. Last year, 61 percent went to charter schools (a number that will increase this school year), by far the largest percentage of children in an urban area attending charters in the county. And the students have made progress.”

Yep – the New Orleans Charter School “experiment” sure sounds like a failure. Good work Kate.

And how stupid can new NZEI President – Judith Nowotarski – be bringing someone to speak to the Select Committee whose evidence is so easily contradicted? How stupid does she think the select committee members are? How stupid does she think the New Zealand public are? How dishonest is she prepared to be?

Seriously – it is getting tedious – are New Zealand teachers really happy to be represented by these people?


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  • Bunswalla

    I saw an article in the Horrid earlier in the week, under the usual damning headlines, how this stupid New Orleans charter school bint threw out the terrible statistic that “37% of charter schools had WORSE results/performances” than state schools.

    Now I’m no mathematician, but surely that tells us that over 60% of charter schools have BETTER results/performance than state schools? As that’s the case, I’d look to fix up the charter schools that are lagging behind (or wait for a short while till the parents vote with their feet) and concentrate on building more charter schools, as two-thirds of them deliver better outcomes for students.And on less money per student than the wasteful state schools.QED.

    • SJ00

      Exactly right.. why bother focusing on the 37% with worse when 63% is a better figure to throw around.. I’m sure it if was only 10% or 1% worse that will still make the headline.
      Reminds me of the Dom Post the other day that run the poll that 40% of people think Bain didn’t do it, but 60% thought he should get compensation.. (something like that, the difference was 20% however). Which means, 20% of this country are stupid enough to think that a guilty man should still get a fat cheque for spending time in prison for committing a crime of mass murder. WTF. Morons, most likely Green or Labour supporters.

      • StupidDiscus

        well everyone else in NZ gets cheques from the “govt” don’t they?

        Why should Bain be left out?

        I guess if you pointed out that even convicted and sentenced crims are still give the dole, DPB, Super, etc, when we let ’em out – perhaps they’d think that was compo enough

      • Dion

        The people aren’t the problem – the problem is likely to be the methodology of the poll.

    • Maddy

      No, you’re definitely not a mathematician, as you have neglected to recognise the possibility that some or all of the remaining 67% could merely be getting similar results, not better ones.

      • phronesis

        You do realise that “similar” is not a mathematical concept, or are you a teacher?

        • Maddy

          I figured that ‘statistically insignificantly different’ would be too hard for the likes of Bunswalla to understand.

          • Bunswalla

            I understand the concept of figures being e.g. statistically significant at the 5% level – which by the way is part of statistics, not mathematics, so now we know you’re definitely a teacher.

            If “all of the remaining 67% were merely getting similar results, not better ones” don’t you think the union stooge would have made that point? This would be the headline: No charter schools perform significantly better than state schools, and 37% fare significantly worse!

            Performance of students and schools in the US is measured with very simple and clear metrics, just like National Standards but unlike NCEA. I know you’d like to put everyone in the same category of “Did their best” and give them all a teddy bear, but out here in the real world, performance, results and actual numbers matter. A lot.

          • StupidDiscus

            which by the way is part of statistics, not mathematics

            Yeah. RIght. Because Statistics isn’t Mathematics.

            All this blatant sharing of ignorance shows is that you’re all state “edujumakated”

          • Maddy

            Oh so now you’re an expert on maths and statistics? Goodo. So maybe you want to take this back then: “surely that tells us that over 60% of charter schools have BETTER results/performance than state schools. As that’s the case…as two-thirds of them deliver better outcomes for students.”

            Just because something isn’t black, it doesn’t mean that it is white. That’s not even statistics, that’s just logic, which is part of mathematics. And just because you’re sure something is true in one sentence, it doesn’t then make it true in the next.

            I’m all for criticising the msrepresentation of statistics, but not by misrepresenting it. Maybe if you’d paid more attention in your formative years, you’d have learned how to think more critically and carefully.

            For someone so critical of NCEA, you don’t appear to know much about it, but I see you have not let ignorance stop you from forming opinions about it (and about me). The performance of students and schools in the US is definitely not something to aspire to.
            NCEA in no way puts everyone in the same category; there are 4 categories of achievement for every assessment. This means that in a course with 6 assessments, there are 4^6 possible combinations of grades.
            The metrics aren’t so simple but then a system that assesses such a myriad of skills can’t be expected to be simple. However, it’s not so bad – it just takes a little bit of understanding to know what to look for. If you want straight numbers, then look at the total number of credits gained in each achievement category and at each level of study. I’m pretty sure the real world lets you use calculators.

  • Bunswalla

    Oh, and to answer your first question, it’s because the Horrid’s “journalistic standards” have plummeted almost as fast as its share price.

    • Patrick

      Share price bottom of the barrel, journalistic competence bottom of the barrel, soon the advertisers will depart & the once might NZ Herald will be gone.

  • StupidDiscus

    Because without unions & benefits most of ’em would starve.

    Bring it on!. Time to do a Chris Christie and just eliminate public sector unions

  • blokeintakapuna

    Had a quick read of the same article and came to the same conclusions. Kate Shuttleworth will be having to shout smoko for the next month over being caught so blatantly with her journalistic integrity exposed to the slithering education unions.

    The plant in the story was so obvious and the story such a spoon-fed propaganda piece, she must be trying for a slot within Labour or the unions maybe… Especially with all the likely lay offs and financial trouble hitting APN right now. Shame her and her Editor weren’t intelligent enough to produce balanced, accurate articles that would increase readership and encourage advertisers to return. Instead, we get this drivel… And it’s positioned in such a way she thinks we will all just swallow her propaganda piece fed to her by the education unions.

    The Irish have plenty taking the piss with all manner of Irish jokes, but I bet they’re livid with this union mouthpiece prostituting the Horrids average name and reputation in a failed propaganda plant such as this. Se might be having a laugh at the Irish owners thinking they won’t notice her blatantly flawed article, but the majority of thinking NZ just cringes… Stops reading… And buys something from Fairfax.

    Journalistic integrity fail of epic proportions not seen since MUNZ tried it with their sycophant repeater.

    The Irish SHOULD be on the war path having discovered the new lows their paper has sunk to.

  • Andy

    To question things would mean you’d have to be able to think first.
    I would assume most so called journos are a product of the current education system.
    Thinking is not part of the state sponsored curriculum.
    You just need to open the news papers if you want to find evidence of state indoctrination and utter stupidity.

    • Maddy

      Thinking is a part of the state sponsored curriculum. See page 12. Most journos will be a product of the previous curriculum though, given the new one has only been around since 2007.

  • Andy

    I couldn’t give it a toss about who was in power when.
    The state should just stay out of education, as simple as this.

    • Maddy

      Errrr…are you responding to me or the voices in your head? I didn’t say anything about anyone in power.